(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Verdict On India"

24                                      VERDICT ON INDIA
never forget that sen-ants, b!ack or white, are also men, who fall
in love and Lke to sit in the sunsh ne, rather than crouch in
corridors T/^it.ng to salute bewildered authors. Besides, there is
the matter of expression. VThafc expression does one assume on
such occasions? At the beginning of the journey down the
corridor I could usually summon up a fair imitation of hauteur,
but by the end cf the first hundred yards the hauteur was wearing
a bit tiun, and had degenerated into a sort of nervous twitch,
due to the face that I suspected a button was undone, but did not
dare to look, in case the giants misunderstood.
Arrived at last at the A.D.C.'& room—far too early, because
one is terrified of being late, and is, indeed, in a state of acute
nervous tension—one steps out on to the terrace to look at the
gardens. These are as vast as everything else, and, in my opinion,
rather frightful. They are the sort of gardens that enrapture
everybody but gardeners. They are as formal as a chess board...
an cndLss series of small oblongs in the middle of a desert of red
brick. Each of the oblongs is packed trght with very brilliant
flowers—a bed of scarlet salvias, so overcrowded that they pant
for breath* a bed of dwarf anchim, bursting with blueness, a
bed of crowded cosmos, like a block of ice-cream. Admittedly,
Lady Linlithgow made the best of a bad job ; she arranged the
chess-board with the utmost skill, and achieved some exquisite
gradations of colour. And in the one and only part of the garden
which had real "possibilities'—a miniature arena with a sunken
pool in the centre—she created something of real beauty. But
the general effect of those gardens, thauks to their desijuer, Sir
Edwin Lutyens, was profoundly depressing. They made a real
gardener long for a ragged old herbaceous border with an apple
tree at one end and a water butt at the other and oh.. .the
heaven in between !
Vast were the gardens, vast the swimming pool, vast the ball-
rooms and the halls of audience. But vastest of all were the
Viceroy and the Vicereine; they towered head and shoulders
above the crowd...and their intellectual capacity was not
unworthy of their stature.